Team Cigar Review: Cubariqueño Protocol Probable Cause Lancero

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Cigar Details: Cubariqueño Protocol Probable Cause Lancero

  • Vitola: Lancero
  • Length: 7.5″
  • Ring Gauge: 38
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: La Zona
  • Blender: Hector Alfonso
  • Price: $10.50
  • Release Date: May 2017
  • Source: Cubariqueño Cigar Co.

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper has a nice marbling of milk chocolate and dark chocolate brown. There are a few visible veins and small bumps that add to the rustic look. The seams are very well blended with the color variations. The head is finished off with a triple cap with the top cap slightly lifting. The cigar has a box press that you don’t really notice unless you look at it from the foot. Two bands are present, with the standard Protocol band in red and black with the same color scheme on the secondary band that denotes the line. The aroma from the wrapper is a funky mix of barnyard and chocolate while the foot gives a more distinct chocolate note with some leather. The pre-light draw brings a raisinet-like flavor of chocolate covered raisins along with some creamy leather. There is also a mild spicy tingle on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The Cubariqueño Protocol Probable Cause Lancero has a hearty dark chocolate brown wrapper. The soft press looks great with well pressed veins and tight seams. There is a uniformed spongy give with no hardness felt. The head is finished off with a well applied triple cap. Nosing the wrapper tells a mixture of sharper cedar, balanced white pepper and barnyard. Nosing the foot gives white pepper, bread and faint barnyard. Cold draw reveals bread and dry wood.

First Third

The cigar begins with big doses of cinnamon and wood with some chocolate in the background. The retrohale also carries the very full cinnamon and wood combination. At an inch in, the intensity of the cinnamon mellows and a nice mix of cinnamon, creamy wood and chocolate has come together. At an inch and a half, the cinnamon has moved to the background while the creamy wood and chocolate play up front. After being very in your face at the start, the profile is now more nuanced. At an inch and three quarters, a bright green bell pepper is present in conjunction with the creamy wood and chocolate. As the third comes to a close, the bell pepper is gone as well as the cream and a slightly dry wood and chocolate remain. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

First Third

First third shows plenty of earthiness and toastiness with a medium bodied sweet cream backing. Quarter inch in, spice joins the profile in the form of a dry red pepper. Right past the quarter inch mark, a charred note also appears, creating a deeper sense of earthiness, but the profile loses out on some of the sweetness. Retrohaling gives the cigar an abundance of richness in creamy roasted nuts and sharp cedar. The finish is comprised of earthy minerals and dry wood. Strength and body is for the most part medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, a bit of cinnamon returns to mix with the dry wood and chocolate. At a half inch in, the dryness goes away which is very welcome. At an inch in, the wood becomes a little darker and the chocolate is still present. The retrohale just carries the dark wood note. At an inch and a half, the darkness of the wood subsides, but a slight char arrives and the chocolate is still present in the background. As the third comes to a close, the darkness returns to the wood while the char remains. Some bitterness also joins in and pushes out the chocolate note. The strength in this third was just slightly above medium.

Second Third

Second third shows the sweet cream being fuller in addition to the pre-existing earthiness, toastiness and dry red peppers. The retrohale is my favorite part of this third, still being full of richness in creamed roasted nuts and sharp cedar. The finish lengthens a tad with the same earthy minerals and dry wood. Strength and body is still relatively on the medium side.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the bitterness and char have left and the dark wood note is what is now presented. The retrohale is carrying the dark wood note with the addition of a good amount of cream. At a quarter inch in, some char returns to the profile. At an inch in, the bitterness returns and is up front, pushing the other flavors to the background. At an inch and a quarter, the bitterness reduces and moves to the background while the dark and charred wood moves back up front. This is how the cigar finishes. The strength in this third was at medium-full.

Final Third

Last third for the most part holds the same flavors but does become better melded. Still full of toastiness, earthy minerals, tapered medium bodied sweet cream and weakened dry red pepper. An intermittent black coffee note comes but it’s no more than a handful of draws. Strength almost moves into the medium-full category while body is still medium.

Burn

The burn line was slightly wavy the entire way. Ash held on in about three quarter inch increments.

Burn

Burn was overall very good. Tight ashes averaging 1 inch increments, burn line wavy at times and the cigar burned cool the entire smoking experience.

Draw

The draw was fairly snug the entire way. I attempted to use a draw tool but wasn’t very aggressive due to the small ring gauge with no success. I have a feeling the tight draw affected flavor as the cigar went along as evidenced by some of the bitterness in the second half of the cigar.

Overall

Some great full flavors transitioning to a nuanced profile all within the first third showed great complexity. Things evened out in the second third and beyond. Construction was pretty good sans the tight draw which can sometime be expected from a lancero. I really hope other samples have a better draw and can maintain how the first third performed. This is another great cigar in the Cubariqueno portfolio and a second lancero winner for them. I’m looking forward to smoking more of them and would recommend it to lancero fans, Cubariqueno fans and those that like darker and medium plus strength cigars.

Aaron
Jiunn
Very Good Pre
Light
Very Good
Very Good First
Third
Good
Good Second Third Good
Average Final
Third
Good
Very Good Burn Very Good
Good Draw Good
Good Overall Good

Draw

The draw, regardless of where I cut on the cap, was on the tighter end. Not a big deal by any means, but a notable one.

Overall

Knowing the release schedule of the lancero format we’d come to expect from Cubariqueño, this is no doubt a cigar geek’s wet dream. But is it worthy? If you are a die hard lancero fan, then yes, it is. For me, the cigar had a bouquet of pleasant notes that are at times masked by a bit too much char. But within my recollection, I don’t believe there are too many lanceros utilizing Mexican San Andrés Maduro. For the uniqueness factor, it is well worth picking some up to try. The char may be a function of it’s youth, but of course only time can tell. This will be a prime candidate for another review with half a year to a year rest. “Lancero? Approved!”

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.77

Cost/Point

$1.55

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.77

Cost/Point

$1.55

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Cubariqueño Protocol Probable Cause Lancero
Aaron LoomisTeam Cigar Review: Cubariqueño Protocol Probable Cause Lancero

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